BILLS OF LADING 21 liable for any damage the goods may sustain whilst in his custody, excepting only that attributable toŚ Act of God; Queen's enemies; Inherent vice. His liability would, however, be limited by the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts referred to in Chapter IV. The shipowner is at liberty to restrict his liabilities, and this he seeks to do by concluding special contracts as evidenced by the terms, conditions and exceptions of the bills of lading. A glance at a modem general cargo bill of lading will convince one that the shipowner takes every precaution to minimize his liabilities by inserting protective clauses exempting himself from responsibility for a very exhaustive range of losses, including those arising from the negligence of his servants, etc. Bills of lading for goods shipped from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, however, are in this respect subject to the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1924, which Act forms the subject of a separate chapter in this volume. That Act establishes the responsibilities, liabilities, rights and immunities attaching to carriers under bills of lading, and in effect prescribes a standard form of bill of lading which has the force of law. It removes the difficul- ties and uncertainties which were associated with the plethora of protective clauses which shipowners were accustomed to insert in bills of lading and has bestowed a considerable advantage on the mercantile community, particularly banks and insurance companies, as, now that they know exactly the extent of the shipowners' liabilities, etc., they can make advances and adjust insurance pre- miums on cargo with greater facility. It is not necessary specifically to incorporate fully the terms and conditions of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1924, hi bills of lading, but an express statement, to the effect that the rules of the Act shall be applied to the contract of affreightment, must be inserted.